Shan and Stephen weren't new to the renovation game. In fact, they've completed several projects over the years to rent out or sell on, as well as working on the house where they raised their now grown-up children. But they still had some dreams to fulfil. Most of all they wanted to buy a beautiful farmhouse with some land.
That dream came true when in 2018 they found this striking Cotswold stone farmhouse in Wiltshire, UK.
Alongside the run-down farmhouse were two derelict barns and three holiday cottages, all in need of attention. It was a lot to take on, and the property's renovation took the couple two years, but the results speak for themselves.
Sensitively retaining and respecting the beauty of the original building, while extending and updating it with latter-day comforts and fresh modern farmhouse style interiors, Shan and Stephen have really brought this historic farmhouse back to life.
Kitchen ideas for any self-respecting farmhouse should always include a range cooker – check; stone floor – check; ceiling beams – check. But this bright and welcoming space throws in a few extra selling points, too. The Shaker-style cabinets are in keeping with the old farmhouse, while wall cladding adds a modern country twist.
The kitchen is in the addition to the farmhouse, and the beam across the centre of the room is a new one, but see how it blends the old and new spaces, and ties in with the original beam across the doorway to the older section of the house.
The couple renovated one of the holiday cottages first so they had somewhere to live while they tackled the farmhouse, which was in desperate need of a new roof, kitchen and bathrooms. An architect drew plans for a side extension and loft conversion, but once the roof was stripped back Shan and Stephen discovered the beams were rotten and had to be replaced.
As time went on, the layout evolved. The front dining room was opened to the rear kitchen to create one through-room. The pitched-roof side extension comes into its own during summer with the bifold doors open to the garden. The large French armoire came from a second-hand shop.
Dining room ideas here are designed to emphasise the height of the new space, and the gray and soft-white color scheme works well under the ample natural daylight. The warm tones of the wooden chairs and pale stone flooring add gentle highlights.
The living room was in the original section of the property, so the couple decided to opt for more traditional living room ideas. Wide plank paneling ensures the look is still more modern farmhouse than rustic, however. A Persian rug adds a bold and decorative touch, along with traditional Welsh blanket throws at Melin Tregwynt.
The Cotswold stone fireplace was rebuilt with lime cement and the oak lintel reinstated. Happily, the couple's oatmeal sofas from their previous home complement the stonework.
The front door and staircase were moved into a new double height entrance hallway after removing the downstairs study and an upstairs bedroom. Anyone looking for hallway ideas will find inspiration in this newly created space, where the original stone walls are exposed to half height, with more wide plank paneling above, reflecting light back into the space. It represents the perfect compromise between the old and the new for this restored farmhouse.
The original beam in this guest room was one of the few that could be saved. The exposed stone wall adds to the sense that this was once part of a working farm. Shan's bedroom ideas included a Roman blind in the William Morris Acorn pattern and more of her favorite Welsh textiles.
In the second bedroom, new wood paneling is again used to give a fresh look and blend the farmhouse's old and new sections. Both bedrooms feature new light oak flooring as the original floorboards were rotten and had to be replaced.
Bathroom ideas for the master ensuite were shaped by the fact that all the roof beams were rotten. They were replaced with kiln-dried oak that the couple white-washed, rubbed back and varnished. The showstopper is the copper freestanding bath with a nickel coating, sitting on a slate plinth with the exposed stone as a feature wall. The pods on either side are for the WC and storage.
As soon as Shan and Stephen saw the property from the roadside, they knew it was the dream project they had been looking for. The farmhouse originates from the 18th-century, and the couple think it might have been three cottages at some stage. The striking Cotswold stone, 'cock and hen' stone walling, and surrounding fields were exactly what they had envisaged and they are delighted with how their renovation has turned out.
The house is available for location shoots: contact Peagreen Locations for details.
Original feature: Jane Crittenden
Styling: Marisha Taylor
Photographs: James French
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Karen is the houses editor for homesandgardens.com and homes editor for the brand’s sister titles, Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors, and an experienced writer on interiors and gardens. She loves visiting historic houses for Period Living and writing about rural properties for Country Homes & Interiors, and working with photographers to capture all shapes and sizes of properties. Karen began her career as a sub editor at Hi-Fi News and Record Review magazine. Her move to women’s magazines came soon after, in the shape of Living magazine, which covered cookery, fashion, beauty, homes and gardening. From Living Karen moved to Ideal Home magazine, where as deputy chief sub, then chief sub, she started to really take an interest in properties, architecture, interior design and gardening.
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